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Home / NYC’s Busch, Schwartz on chopping block…Tjongarero refutes favouritism claims

NYC’s Busch, Schwartz on chopping block…Tjongarero refutes favouritism claims

2024-03-20  Aletta Shikololo

NYC’s Busch, Schwartz on chopping block…Tjongarero refutes favouritism claims

An investigation by government on allegations of corruption, mismanagement and non-compliance into the National Youth Council has called for the suspension of the institution’s executive chairperson Sharonice Busch and director, Calista Schwartz-Gowases.

The youth and finance ministries appointed a special committee to resolve matters around internal conflicts between the two executives.

It was found that skirmishes and a power struggle between the two have caused disruption at the institution. Youth minister Agnes Tjongarero confirmed to New Era that the investigation is done and yesterday, the two ministries sat and discussed the way forward on the findings.

She said, “The investigation recommends that they must both [Busch and Schwartz-Gowases] be suspended.” 

Tjongarero indicated that the suspension is just the tip of the iceberg, as the findings of the report are extensive and there are numerous recommendations. 

Therefore, she couldn’t share more information until the other stakeholders have studied the report.

“On Saturday, I studied the report, and I don’t know about the other partner but now we are discussing the way forward,” she said.


Tjongarero said that many things that were supposed to be done at NYC were not done and that requires urgent intervention.


No favouritism

In a press briefing held yesterday by some members of the NYC representative council, the team accused Tjongarero of dragging her feet on taking action recommended by the investigative committee.

“Having known that the institution is at stake as the director and the board are at loggerheads; the ministry has shown no remorse to the RC meeting, rumours has it that the minister is protecting the director,” an RC member Veparura Kandirikirira

The RC was also disheartened by Tjongarero’s absence at the RC meeting that was called off, on Saturday in Ondangwa.

“She has deliberately failed to delegate a senior member. This also gives an image that the ministry is not taking youth serious and in turn not serving its purpose,” he alleged.

Kandirikirira said Tjongarero should be held accountable as she is allegedly involved in the ongoing issues within the council.

He then said Schwartz-Gowases was found guilty of 15 charges by the investigation committee, however Tjongarero refused to act. 

“They dine together,” another RC member said. The minister has refuted these claims, saying, after the committee submitted the report, she was in Ghana for the Africa Games.

“I came back last week but with the ministerial things like Sona and the meet and greet of the diplomats, I was only able to study the report over the weekend,” she explained.

Tjongarero also shunned claims about favouring Schwartz-Gowases.

“Why must I protect the director? In which sense?” she questioned. The minister said if she was protecting Schwartz-Gowases, the investigation wouldn’t have taken place.

“That is why we wanted to know where exactly the problem is. How do I protect her?” she asked again.

The politician noted that the report does not specify that only Schwartz-Gowases should be suspended, but rather her and Busch.  “I don’t understand why people are taking sides. If I was protecting her (Schwartz-Gowases) then it means I was also protecting the other one (Busch) because the report states both,” she said.

Tjongarero explained her absence from the RC meeting, stating she had sent a letter to the RC chairperson explaining why she couldn’t attend on Saturday. “I even asked whether I could come on Sunday morning but Saturday evening, the chairperson of the representative council said there was nothing happening that side,” she explained.



NYC board has suspended Schwartz-Gowases on allegations of serious misconduct, the board has then appointed programmes manager, Sircca Nghitila to act on her behalf while the disciplinary proceedings are taking place.

Although the misconduct was not fully explained, Schwartz-Gowases allegedly attempted to assault a member of the RC during the recently called off meeting.  New Era failed to obtain a response from her as her phone has been unreachable since Monday morning.  Busch, who promised to respond to questions sent to her on Monday, was also not picking up calls or responding to text messages yesterday.

2024-03-20  Aletta Shikololo

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